Back in 2009, (which seems life a life time ago), I joined my sister for my first ever yoga class.
Competitive sports such as netball, touch football, swimming and cross-country running have always been my jam. I love playing team sports, competing against others and myself, and the potential thrill of winning!
So back then doing yoga seemed quite out of the ordinary and to be particularly honest, very unappealing.
And it was.
I hated it.
I think the only reason why I did yoga was because Meredith and I were like little magnets – we did everything together!
We stuck at yoga for about two years, moved on to pilates and I continued running, swimming and going to the gym to stay fit.
But in June this year I was told by a physician that I had adrenal fatigue and that high intensity activity like running needed to be cut from my exercise regime.
I was devastated and I begrudgingly turned to yoga.
Here’s what I learned and why I don’t hate yoga anymore:
1. You don’t have to be great at something to enjoy it
I’ll admit I’m one of those people who only likes to do things that I’m good at….or I know I have a good shot at winning!
But I’m definitely not ‘good’ at yoga.
Thankfully though, after a few shaky starts at the local yoga studio I now actually love my yoga practice despite my ‘technique’ being far from perfect.
2. With vulnerability comes growth
Now I am no ‘Gumby doll’ when it comes to flexibility, so trying to bend and twist my body into some of the yoga poses is majorly challenging for me.
I’ve noticed that I dread particular poses because it exposes my vulnerability. I’m petrified of ‘failing’ and looking like a goose in front of the few Lulu Lemon Yoga Barbie’s in the class.
But I’ve discovered that my body CAN do amazing things! I just have to push through my fear of being vulnerable (and potentially face-planting on the mat) and see how far I can go.
I’m pleased to report I’m usually surprised at what I can do!
3. Intention setting is powerful
I am a HUGE advocate for setting an intention every single day (I mention it as a part of my journaling practice). Setting an intention helps you to shape your experiences by acting in alignment with your goals.
For me, setting an intention at the start of each yoga class has been a beautiful reminder that I have the power to shape my life and every aspect within it.
4. You must Listen to your body
I’ll put it out there….until this year I NEVER listened to my body!
I’ve played rep netball games with a near torn hamstring, I’ve pushed through days at work with migraines so bad that one side of my face dropped and I’ve continually turned the dial on the treadmill to run faster and further despite being physically and emotionally exhausted. Crazy right? But thanks to yoga I’ve finally learned that this isn’t the way!
I now appreciate that you have to listen to your body and truly respect how you feel. If I feel exhausted I won’t push myself to do the more advanced pose and if in my day-to-day life if I’m feeling burned out, I give myself a break! (HUGE revelation!).
Yoga has taught me to listen in on what my body is telling me and to act on it, rather than ignore it!
5. Savasana isn’t a time to be silly
Back in the day when Meredith and I would ‘bend and stretch’ together we detested the ten minutes at the end of each yoga class. When everyone else was silent in savasana we would pull faces at each other, giggle, guess what mum was making for dinner and eye off the clock for home time! (And yes, we got in trouble off our yoga instructor).
But now I love that ‘corpse pose’ allows me to really connect with my breath and simply ‘be’ rather than ‘do.’
It’s during this time that I enjoy blissful peace, which has been something extremely rare in my life (and probably yours too?).
6. Divine Timing is Real
I’ve mentioned once or twice before that I whole-heartedly believe that everything happens for a reason. I believe that my previous yoga stint was just a warm up and I was too immature, emotionally and spiritually to gain anything from the practice.
But now I’ve reconnected with yoga because I’m more open to the experience and willing to receive the lessons it has to offer me!
And there is a new lesson every time I practice, which is such a gift!
++ WIN 1 x 3 ‘Explore Yoga Sessions’ with Rani Foreman of Road To Wellness! ++
This week I would love for you to experience the life changing gifts that yoga has to offer and that’s why I’m STOKED to offer 3 of my gorgeous readers a 1 Hour ‘Explore Yoga Session’ (valued at $59 AUD) with my beautiful friend and personal yoga instructor Rani Foreman from Road To Wellness.
Rani is a qualified Exercise Physiologist + Yoga Instructor and offers totally unique, holistic and completely tailored yoga sessions via Skype!
I’ve been working with Rani for the last few months and she is such a beautiful soul AND a kick-arse yoga instructor!
If you’ve never tried yoga before or you’re worried that you’re not flexible enough to join a class, this is for you!
Or if you have low back pain, joint pain a or chronic condition this Giveaway is also for you!
AND if you would love to enjoy a customised yoga session from the comfort of our home, this is definitely for you!
To be eligible to WIN 1 x 3 One Hour ‘Explore Yoga Sessions’ get yourself on my ‘Great Mail’ list (add your details below this post!) and share with me in the comments how you think you would benefit from taking some time to explore yoga!
Entries close Tuesday 15th December, 2015 and WINNERS will be contacted by email and shared on social media.
Best of luck and lots of love!